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von riluowanying123 • Gaser Meister | 2.685 Beiträge

Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez, the undefeated four-division world champion and reigning junior bantamweight titleholder, is widely considered the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It is a designation he was bestowed by many in the media, including the ESPN.com panel of boxing experts that votes on the matter, following the retirement of Floyd Mayweather in September 2015.But there very well could be somebody nipping at his heels and in position to take over the lofty perch atop boxing. Many probably will view the winner of the fight between unified light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev and former super middleweight world champion Andre Ward, both universally viewed among the top five boxers in the world, as deserving of the mantle.Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) and Ward (30-0, 15 KOs), who have both beaten outstanding opposition, meet Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in the best pure matchup of the year. The fight has appropriately been named Pound For Pound.The winner, depending on how the fight goes, of course, will have a case to be called the best in boxing.No doubt: If Sergey wins, he is the best fighter pound-for-pound, his trainer, John David Jackson, said.Said Michael Yormark of Roc Nation Sports, Wards promoter: Lets make something absolutely clear -- on [Saturday] the stakes could not be higher. Make no mistake about it, they will be fighting for something they have spent their entire life pursuing: the title of worlds best boxer. I have no doubt that Andre will win a decisive victory over a worthy challenger in Sergey Kovalev, and the title of pound-for-pound king.Kovalev said he is not thinking about it.I dont think about what will be after the fight, Kovalev said. I have focused my whole attention on this fight and Ward and what I should do inside the ring. Well see about this after the fight.On the other hand, Ward said the winner deserves the label of pound-for-pound No. 1.Its hard to say definitively, but I think it would be really, really hard to argue against [the winner being No. 1], Ward said. Im saying this based on both of our resumes and based on the fact that we are both willing to step up and face each other at this stage of our career. Were both 30-0, and we both have a lot to gain and a lot to lose. I think that the winner of this fight should be pound-for-pound No. 1.Kovalevs rise to the point where he could even be in the conversation for pound-for-pound king was wholly unexpected. Unwanted by promoters when he came to the United States from Russia to begin his pro career in 2009, he toiled on small-club cards until Main Events promoter Kathy Duva agreed to put him on one of her shows in 2012. She loved what she saw and signed him, and since then Kovalev, 33, has marched up the rankings, scored one impressive knockout after another and won three world title belts.His resume is impressive. He scored a title victory on the road in Wales against Nathan Cleverly, a one-sided rout of the great Bernard Hopkins to unify titles, two knockouts of former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal and a one-sided decision win against contender Isaac Chilemba in July.Kovalev said a win over Ward and gaining the pound-for-pound No. 1 designation would mean a lot to him.When I was growing up in Russia I did not hear these words -- pound for pound, he said. Once I learned what this was, I knew this was important. I am honored that people think I am the fighter that could get this title. Its important for me, for my career. I am a champion in my division now, but I want to get all the belts, and also I would like to be the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.I respect Andre Ward. He is a very good boxer and [2004] Olympic gold medal winner. But he is man, not alien, so I have a chance to beat him. My fight against Andre Ward is very interesting for all boxing fans. We both have undefeated record and top rating.I will be prepared 100 percent to do all I have to do -- box, fight, go 12 rounds. What it takes to win, I will do. There is much intrigue. Many people talk of this fight. They say its 50-50 who will win. My goal is to get victory over Andre Ward. Its big step for me in my boxing career, and I must be ready.As a decorated amateur with an Olympic gold medal -- and one who made his pro debut on HBO, no less -- Ward, 32, of Oakland, California, was expected to be in the mix for pound-for-pound supremacy from Day 1 of his professional career. Although he had promotional issues that led to lengthy layoffs, Ward has been superb when he has been active.He rolled through the 2009 to 2011 Super Six World Boxing Classic super middleweight tournament by cleaning out the weight class on his way to winning his first world title and unifying belts. He has won virtually every fight of his career in one-sided fashion and defeated a whos who at 168 pounds: Mikkel Kessler, to win his first belt in the Super Six opener; Alan Green; Sakio Bika, in a non-tournament bout; Arthur Abraham; and Carl Froch, whom he defeated in the tournament final to unify titles.In his tournament encore, Ward delivered a 10th-round knockout in a one-sided beating against then-light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, who had dropped down in weight to challenge Ward for the super middleweight title.After the tournament, Ward was viewed as boxings best other than Mayweather, but the inactivity and lack of big fights when he did get into the ring chipped away at his status. But the fight with Kovalev, his third since moving up to 175 pounds, could put him on top, and he said hes excited about that.Its surreal, Ward said. Because I had a coach (Virgil Hunter) growing up and was fighting as a young kid, weve never really got too caught up with ourselves. And Im talking about me, Virgil and my father, when he was alive. Weve always had a blue-collar mentality, and I get a little scared sometimes to look back on what weve accomplished and kind of relish it because the clock is still ticking. Im still active. My career is still going, but Ive got to continue to show up and show my worth and continue to be the champion that I am.Its just hard to stop and look back at what youve accomplished and the road that youve traveled on. Personally, its good to do it sometimes, but when I do peek back just for a split second its overwhelming. I cant believe God has taken us this far. I cant believe that a young kid at 9 years old who just wanted to do what his dad did got this far. Im sure if my dad was alive he wouldnt be able to believe it either.The fight is a toss-up to many. Will Kovalevs power carry the day or will it be Wards technical skills and defensive ability that win out? It is a rare fight where opinions are all over the place.Anyone who says that they know what is going to happen is the definition of a liar, HBO Sports executive vice president Peter Nelson said. We know that there is no telling what can happen. But that is what defines great fights.Its about fighters like Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev, who have decided to be in the business of putting unified titles on the line and of putting pound-for-pound records on the line; about putting undefeated status on the line; about putting money, status, power on the line; about putting daring to be great on the line; about putting legacy on the line; and the rest of the business end takes care of itself. Thats what great fighters do.The fight will mark only the third time since the inception of the Ring magazine pound-for-pound rankings that two top-five fighters with unbeaten records will face each other. The others were the epic junior welterweight title unification fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Meldrick Taylor in 1990 and the 1999 welterweight unification bout between Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya.One of the problems making these types of fights is the promoters cant get along, Jackson said. The fighters, for the most part, will fight each other. Sometimes it is not within their powers to make the fights, and thats why sometimes you dont see these big fights. Sometimes one TV network has one fighter, and another TV network has another fighter. There are a lot of reasons the fights are not made, but I am glad this fight is made for the fans. They get to see a world-class fight between two world-class fighters on a world-class level.Said Duva: Lets hope this is the start of something new, a throwback to the way boxing used to be when it was at its best. 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